How do you choose the best town to stay on the Amalfi Coast when flying to Italy? The choice is not simple, as Campania always wows its visitors with its nearby municipalities rich in naturalistic and cultural beauties, sandy beaches, luxury shops, and unique experiences along the shoreline.
The Amalfi Coast, close to the Gulf of Salerno, is well known for being one of the most relevant UNESCO World Heritage Sites with its exceptional landscapes and historical background. Enjoying its towns, indeed, can be as astonishing as staying in them, making it the ideal destination for an unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime trip. Whether you’re looking for relaxation in Ravello, being sun-kissed in Positano, or having fun in adjacent towns, this area offers charming attractions, suggestive monuments, tasty homemade seafood and so much more.
Keep reading the article to find out where to stay, what to see, and what to consider before booking your holidays on the Amalfi Coast.
Top 5 Towns to Stay in on the Amalfi Coast
Positano, commonly named “wedding cake” (from the Italian “torta nuziale”), is the perfect destination for tradition and history enthusiasts. Indeed, it hosts multiple works of art, monuments, and budget-friendly stays.
Starting from the La Sponda crossroad, we advise you to start your visit by going to the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. This place of worship, known for its picturesque Byzantine dome, was built during the 10th century and still amazes its visitors as it hosts San Nicola di Bari and San Vito chapels, but also one of the most valuable reliquaries dating back to the 16th century. After that, don’t miss Spiaggia Grande and Fornillo Beach, which allow you to reach the Sentiero degli Innamorati and local restaurants in less than 15 minutes on foot, admire a unique view overlooking the Thyrrenian and rent kayaks for an adventure next to small coves. Conclude your tour with a stop at the 5 medieval towers (Torre Sponda, Torre Fornillo, Torre del Gallo Lungo, Torre di Renzo and Torre Trasita) built to save the zone from Saracen attacks.
Best Hotels to Stay in Positano
Speaking of accommodations, Positano is surely a sumptuous city to stay on the Amalfi Coast. Whether it is high or low season, the latter offers characteristic and aesthetically pleasing options. Casa Roberta and Rays of Sun Apartment provide multiple equipped rooms, a huge terrace, and a garden where you can relax and taste their homemade breakfast.
Don’t leave Positano without trying Italian delicacies at Lo Guarracino. This is famous for its spaghetti with clams and mussels but also for its fried fish. Stop at Da Vincenzo Positano 1958, then, to taste the best zucchini pasta and its chocolate desserts while admiring the view.
Upon your arrival in Amalfi, also named “the city of lemons” (from Italian “la città dei limoni”), we suggest you visit the Cathedral of Sant’Andrea, which is quite beloved for its hidden Paradiso cloister. The latter, initially meant to be a cemetery for noble Amalfi families, is full of picturesque chapels with a huge garden surrounded by arcades and white Arabic-style columns (the ticket to get there costs just 3€). Culture buffs will be amazed by the central Museum of Paper, opened in 1969 to celebrate the art of making paper by hand in town as old equipment used in this ex-paper mill is shown here.
Among must-see spots, it is impossible not to mention the Emerald Grotto, which was discovered by a fisherman in 1932 and whose name comes from its water reflecting the light. It is easy to reach by lift or rafts offered by tour operators that depart from the local port.
Best Hotels to Stay in Amalfi
If you are looking for centrally located stays in Amalfi, Valle d’Amalfi Suites will let you have a top time as its hosts offer rooms with a private bathroom, air conditioning and a terrace with sea views. Alternatively, really close to Valle delle Ferriere, Residenza Luce provides colorful and totally equipped accommodations with direct access to the main beaches. It is the ideal choice for couples.
Once you arrive in Amalfi, you can’t miss a gastronomic tour at Il Tarì Amalfi Restaurant, which is famous for its fish soup and seafood risotto. We also advise you to book a table at the luxury beach club Marina Grande and taste its grilled prawns and calamari.
Explore more: Amalfi Coast Towns – Coastal Charm and Luxury
Ravello is a coastal dream tucked between Positano and Vietri sul Mare. Here, you can’t miss Villa Rufolo (the ticket costs around 6€)and Villa Cimbrone. The first takes its name from the noble Rufolo family who wanted to build this mansion as a representative of their social status. By now, it is much loved for its garden rich in unique species of plants and flowers. The second one is a must-see destination for spouses because of its romantic Infinito Terrace overlooking Punta di Licosa, local houses, and lemon groves. End your visit to the Museum of Coral, opened in 1986, which exhibits historical objects and jewelry completely made with coral by the Di Filocamo family.
Best Hotels to Stay in Ravello
Only 4 minutes away from Ravello’s main square, Hotel Villa Maria provides you with multiple room options with a sun terrace and cooking classes to attend during summertime. As an alternative, Hotel Graal offers standard rooms with a TV and hydromassage bath.
Don’t leave Ravello without trying Ristorante Salvatore’s homemade bread and cacio e pepe tagliolini. If you crave something sweet, go to Baffone Gelateria Artigianale for the best limoncello ice cream on the Amalfi Coast.
4. Vietri sul Mare
Visiting Vietri sul Mare is a heavenly experience. Also known as “the pearl of the Amalfi Coast”, it is mostly famous for its Ceramic Museum and Church of San Giovanni Battista. The first one hosts ceramics (from the 18th to the 20th century) and religious terracottas. The second one, built during the 17th century, is famous for its colorful majolica dome and Renaissance details.
After that, stop at La Baia Beach, which is full of local restaurants and bars to have a snack and party. As a substitute, go to La Crespelle Beach. This is surrounded by towers from the 16th century and a series of Faraglioni, commonly called “the two brothers”. End your vacation with a walk through nature by going to Parco Croce. The latter, a contemporary WWF oasis, was donated by the family of Benedetto Croce and is very close to the village of Albori. You can enjoy a day among multiple fauna species such as snakes, badgers, wild boars, foxes, and beech martens. Moreover, it is possible to birdwatch owls, kestrels, peregrine falcons, and more.
Best Hotels to Stay in Vietri sul Mare
If you are looking for a place to stay in Vietri sul Mare, we suggest you book a room at Casa Amorevole. Indeed, its owners will provide accommodations with a private bathroom, a huge terrace, and a homemade breakfast with a view overlooking the adjacent Spiaggia dello Scoglione. Alternatively, Palazzo della Guardia can let you live out of the common experiences with their antique rooms equipped with bed linen sheets, towels, a garden, and a mini market.
When you arrive in Vietri sul Mare, don’t forget to have a culinary experience at Il Principe e la Civetta Restaurant by tasting its seafood delicacies or at Ristorante Evù, which is famous for its pizzas with shrimp and whose staff is renowned for the welcoming and kind attitude towards clients. Dulcis in fundo, only for dessert lovers, the famous Bar Gelateria Eco del Mare will prepare delicious tiramisùs made with love from its waiters.
Cetara is one of the most appreciated towns by young people. Once you arrive, visit Spiaggia il Porto and Marina di Cetara where private beach owners host multiple themed parties in the high season. However, during the day, stop at the Church of San Pietro Apostolo. It takes its name from the apostle and is beloved for its picturesque bell tower (more than 18 m high) rich in Baroque and Gothic details. The Church of Maria di Costantinopoli, instead, is a place of worship appreciated for the Madonna of Constantinople effigy (located at the entrance) and for the Madonna delle Grazie statue. Trekking buffs will love the Monte Falerio path, which includes 5 hours of hiking among woods full of lemon trees, olive groves, and vineyards.
Best Hotels to Stay in Cetara
In Cetara, we advise you to stay at La Casa di Rita or La Sorgente B&B. The first one is a huge apartment with 4 beds and a private bathroom very close to the Spiaggia del Lannio and provides a well-equipped minimarket full of typically Italian fresh food. The second one offers double rooms with a private bathroom, hairdryer, air conditioning, and a private parking space. This is the right option for those who want to reach Napoli Capodichino Airport fastly and visit La Divina’s cities without spending too much money.
Cetara is known for its local restaurants and their savory and homemade specialties. At Marepizza, indeed, you should try the classic pizza margherita and its salad with olives, tuna fish, and cheese. On the other hand, don’t forget to taste Ristorante Acquapazza’spaccheri or the grilled turbot fish.
Factors to Consider before Booking your Trip on the Amalfi Coast
The Season in Which you Want to Leave
When planning your Italian vacation, you must always choose which is the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast based on your necessities and wishes. During the high season, from May to August, you might find very expensive stays and overcrowded spots but also a pleasing temperature and a wild nightlife. On the other hand, during low season, many museums and main attractions could be closed and it might be really cold but accommodations offer budget-friendly rooms.
The Things You Want to See
After your arrival on the Amalfi Coast, think about the things you want to see and events you want to attend. As a culture enthusiast, you shouldn’t miss Cetara, Ravello, and Vietri sul Mare with their ancient museums and iconic gardens. Otherwise, as a fun fan, you should spend most of your time in Amalfi or Positano as these offer exotic nightlife, unforgettable beach clubs, and wellness spots.
Crowding in the Most Popular Places
Amalfi Coast’s towns are a very popular destination (especially during the spring /summer season). When planning this vacation, then, be aware that Positano, Amalfi, and Vietri sul Mare could be extremely overcrowded because of their glamorous bars, and clubs open 24/7. If you are looking for something relaxing stop at Ravello or Cetara, which are not full of tourists and host more affordable travel options in terms of hotels, food, and festivals.
The Means of Transportation
Is there the best town to stay on the Amalfi Coast in terms of transportation? Despite the strategic position, the Amalfi Coast towns are not very easy to reach by bus as the streets are quite narrow. If you are coming from nearby cities, then, we absolutely recommend you rent a taxi or a private car. Use public transportation only to reach Amalfi (the nearest one from Naples by taking a SITA bus or a train).
The Location where to Stay on the Amalfi Coast
As said before, staying on the Amalfi Coast – whether it’s in Positano or Vietri sul Mare – might be really expensive. If you are looking for a cheap option, just rent an accommodation in Cetara and visit nearby towns during the day by car. The latter is centrally located and quite close to Ravello. On the other hand, if you like enjoying Amalfi Coast’s luxury, multiple eccentric and dreamy stays are waiting for you.